WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster’s newest a cappella group, Scots In Harmony, is singing in, well, perfect harmony. So much so that it has earned an invitation to the Midwest quarterfinal of The Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), which will take place at Case Western Reserve University’s Maltz Performing Arts Center in Cleveland this Saturday, Jan. 25.
While there are a number of a cappella groups at Wooster—seven to be exact—Scots In Harmony was organized for the explicit intent to compete. Simply put, “we wanted to take a cappella (here) to a different level … that competition was the big distinction and how we were able to get chartered,” said Rondell MacKey, Jr., a sophomore from Atlanta who co-founded the student organization and now serves as its president.
This marks the first full academic year Scots In Harmony has been active, and last fall the 15 members were able to quickly piece together a selection of songs and corresponding choreography for a video submission that was ultimately deemed worthy for a spot in the ICCA quarterfinals, an accomplishment in its own right. Approximately, 1,500 entries were narrowed down to 426 groups at 53 quarterfinal sites.
Scots In Harmony, which has been diligently rehearsing its 12-minute set consisting of “Hello Friend” by Chloe x Halle, “Have Mercy” by Eryn Allen Kane, and “Marrow” by Vincint, will be competing against peers from regional schools, with the top-two placing groups advancing to the ICCA Midwest semifinals in March. MacKey noted that the song selection will probably be different than most, as he “wanted (them) to be very relatable, but also very different and stand out, and reflect our main theme, which is suffering.”
No matter the results of the ICCA quarterfinals, MacKey is excited for the opportunity and to see how Scots In Harmony grows from the experience. “I really want (us) to become comfortable with the competition atmosphere, what that feels like, what it looks like, every side of it,” he said. “We already have a bond, but with the competition and the stress of it, I think it will bring us closer. Those are my goals, outside of winning.”
Varsity Vocals, established in 1995, gives singers in high school and college, and beyond, the opportunity to interact, compete, learn from each other, get feedback from the pros, and perform in fantastic venues around the globe through its tournaments.